Peanut Allergies

Topics: Asthma, Allergy, Peanut Pages: 3 (648 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Peanut Allergies
What is a peanut allergy?
A peanut allergy is a reaction that involves our body’s immune system. When we have a peanut allergy our immune system thinks that the peanut proteins are harmful and fight against it to protect our body. Peanuts are one of the nine most common food allergens in Canada. The other eight are: wheat, tree nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and walnuts), sesame seeds, milk, eggs, seafood, soy, and sulphites (a food additive).

Causes of peanut allergies:
* Hereditary
* Breast-feeding; But new evidence shows that when a mother eats peanuts, the peanut proteins flow into breast-milk and cause infants to develop the allergy antibodies, as well.  * Direct contact. The most common cause of peanut allergy is eating peanuts or peanut-containing foods. * Cross-contact. This is the unintended introduction of peanuts into a product. It's generally the result of a food being exposed to peanuts during processing or handling. * Inhalation. An allergic reaction may occur if you inhale dust or aerosols containing peanuts, such as that of peanut flour or peanut oil cooking spray. The most popular cause of peanut allergy is called the "hygiene hypothesis," which says that people are just too clean these days. The result of the super-germ-free lives we lead and our readiness to treat infection with antibiotics is that our bodies don't know how to handle certain innocent proteins such as peanuts.

Foods that causes the illness:
* Peanuts and peanut products.
* Tree nuts and their products.
* Food that are exposed to peanuts.

What are the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction? 
An allergic reaction to peanuts can happen within minutes or up to several hours after eating foods containing peanuts. Symptoms vary from person to person, and may progress from mild to severe. Mild allergic reaction:

* flushed face and body
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